BB10 is finally here

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This post at Engadget was interesting because it gave a snapshot of several editors opinions.

I think things can be summed up like this, from my own look at the devices:

  • If you’re a current BlackBerry user, this is a huge win.  Welcome to the smartphone era.  A modern phone that looks mostly on-par with the others.
  • If you’re not a current BB user, I’m not sure there’s anything compelling here compared to the other platforms.  Maybe for a first-time smartphone buyer there’s a reason to consider BB10, but I’m not sure there’s anything that’d force people to give up their investment in apps on another platform.

One huge win, in my opinion, is that they also announced that Skype will be on BB10.  It hadn’t seemed like it’d happen a while ago, which would have been a big negative; at least it’s a negative for my Playbook.

The difficulty, that I think we need to keep in perspective, is that this is the very first version of a brand new mobile OS (we won’t count the Playbook).  I think it’s pretty impressive how good the first version looks.  Only time will tell how good the platform becomes.  How quickly do they fix the bugs and refine the experience?  How much top-tier developer support comes along?

These days, a mobile platform is so much more than just the OS.  I’d argue it’s much more about the apps.  Of the time I’m actively using my iPhone, I’m sure I spend way more time in 3rd party apps than anything written by Apple.

Look how long Google has been working on Android.  I think they’ve hit parity with iOS in many ways, but I don’t see anything they have that’s clearly better than iOS.

You win, Ubuntu, take my money now

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In my last post, Ubuntu Phone, I talked about the concept for Ubuntu Phone that’s been floating around.  Now, it seems the concept may be closer to reality.  Take a look at this video: Ubuntu Phone OS Demonstration by Mark Shuttleworth at CES 2013.  Looks very nice.  The really compelling thing for me is that the phone can dock to a monitor/keyboard/mouse and turn into the full Ubuntu desktop experience.  All the same code, just different views based on the screen you’re using.  That is awesome.

In that post I also said “If you could also dock the phone into a 10-inch tablet-esque screen, I’m done, just take my money now.”  Well, he does say that in this video.  So, I’m sold.

Ubuntu Phone

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Saw this today: Announcing Ubuntu For Phones.

I’m a very happy iPhone user, but there’s one nugget in that article that I want really, really badly:

“Ubuntu for phones is not just limited to just the Operating System on the phone screen itself. Ubuntu also has the technology, as demonstrated with Ubuntu For Android, to boot a full Ubuntu desktop from the phone when it is docked with a screen. This provides a complete Ubuntu experience in your pocket, for both your phone and your desktop, with a clean consistent look across both screens, and with all your content available on your phone and desktop using Ubuntu One. This is revolutionary.”

I want.  Smartphones now have enough power to run a desktop computer.  Sure, not a crazy rig for hardcore gaming, but definitely enough for what most of us do most of the time.  Plus, it really annoys me to have to figure out ways to sync all my data between all the devices I use (desktop, laptop, iPad, iPhone).  This idea above solves all of that by making those all the same machine.  No syncing required.

This was half-heartedly tried recently with the Android Atrix phone.  It was a phone that could dock into a laptop-like thing.  I think it flopped because the “desktop experience” was limited to a special build of Firefox.

If this idea does go anywhere, I assume it’ll be years before it’s really good and looks like my vision, but this is still great news.  A great experience like this would be one thing I can think of that’d get me off iOS.  If you could also dock the phone into a 10-inch tablet-esque screen, I’m done, just take my money now.